If you want the action to continue after a movie or game is over, what better way to do it than by visiting the place where it is set? The spectacular rise of movie tourism related to the entertainment industry has opened our eyes to a fresh new way of seeing the world around us, so we looked at some of the most interesting options.
See King Arthur’s Legacy in the UK
The 2017 movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword by Guy Ritchie starred Charlie Hunnam and was expected to start an Arthurian revival in popular culture. However, it only earned USD $148 million at global box offices, causing the other five future films in the franchises to be canceled. This left fans still waiting for the definitive movie on this mysterious character who is said to have lived in the 6th century.
Many other attempts have been made at bringing the legend of Arthur to life on the movie screen or on TV shows, with various degrees of success. Some of the most popular movies on this theme include the 2004 adventure with Clive Owen and several versions of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The engrossing story of this ancient British king is a favorite of many people over the years.
Gamers can choose from titles such as 2021’s RPG King Arthur: Knight’s Tale and King Arthur II: The Role-Playing Wargame from 2011, both from NeocoreGames. The Arthurian legend is also seen on several of the themed slots at the Betway Casino including Book of King Arthur by Just for the Win and Arthur’s Gold by Microgaming. The Avalon slot is also by Microgaming and is based on the island that is central to the King’s story. These slots feature images such as swords and shields, as well as Merlin and Arthur himself.
There is some doubt about whether Arthur ever existed in the way that we have seen him represented in movies, TV shows, and games. So, tourism built on his legend is more about exploring some of the places in the UK that have been linked to him. For example, the Round Table in Winchester Castle is a medieval replica of the famous original. Some historians suggest that Glastonbury was the true site of Avalon, while it is easy to feel inspired by this story at the spectacular Tintagel Castle in Cornwall.
James Bond’s Adventures in Venice
Given the globe-trotting nature of the 007 films, James Bond tourism can be carried out in many different parts of the globe. Three of the smooth agent’s movies have been filmed in Venice in the wonderful destination of Italy, 1963’s From Russia with Love was the second time that Sean Connery played the role, and the final drama happens in the romantic Italian city. Bond and Tatiana Romanova end up in a romantic boat ride while we see the iconic Bridge of Sighs and other iconic sights in the background.
Bond was back in Venice in 1979, with the Moonraker movie seeing Roger Moore in the title role for the fourth time. This city was where he met the astronaut Dr. Holly Goodhead and there is a famously over-the-top chase scene through the canals. Although, in real life, you will see that there are no traffic lights on Venice’s canals like those that cause mayhem in the film. 007 throws bad guy Chang through Saint Mark’s Torre dell’Orologio clock tower, but thankfully it is still intact for you to visit.
The final James Bond movie to show Venice was Casino Royale, with this 2006 outing giving Daniel Craig his first shot at playing the secret agent. The climax to this movie sees 007 shoot the flotation device under a house in the Grand Canal, causing it to sink into the water. The houses around it are real and can be seen today, but the actual sinking of the property was carried out through clever use of models and CGI work rather than destroying any real buildings.
Many video games have been produced based on the Bond books and movies, often taking place in the same locations that we have seen on the big screen. This list of the top ten James Bond games places 1997’s Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64 and 2002’s Nightfire by Electronic Arts in the top spots. The 2005 James Bond 007: From Russia with Love title from EA is notable as being the only video game to show Bond as being a young Sean Connery.
Lord of the Rings Movie Tourism in New Zealand
It could be argued that it was the release of The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001 that first brought movie-based tourism into the mainstream. The massive success of this first movie set the scene for a new wave of fantasy movies and introduced the natural beauty of New Zealand to a huge new audience. This first movie in the trilogy grossed USD $897 million across the world while the third instalment, The Return of the King, was only the second movie in history to breach the USD $1 billion mark.
The story proved perfect for the gaming industry as well, with numerous games inspired by the movies. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is possibly the best of them all, with this 2017 release from Warner Bros brought out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows. The predecessor is 2014’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which is another of the most highly-rated games based on the book and movies.
The magic of this story can be re-visited at the 14-acre Hobbiton movie set in Waikato, in the country’s North Island. This location was used in the Lord of the Rings movies as well as in The Hobbit trilogy. A two-hour guided tour can be arranged, while there is also the option of an evening banquet tour. Peter Jackson arranged for the work to be carried out on Hobbiton a year before filming, giving it a lived-in feel when filming was done. However, since it was built for temporary purposes, it was largely rebuilt in 2010 for the first film in The Hobbit series, An Unexpected Journey.
Visitors have been able to come here since 2002, and by 2013, more than half a million tourists had come to see Hobbiton. Among the highlights are 44 hobbit holes, but not all of them can be entered. Bagshot Row and Bilbo’s home are among the most popular spots, and you will see that the homes are built to different sizes, to allow for different types of scenes with the various characters. The tour is fairly expensive, so be sure to work out how to handle your NZ Dollars before you head here.
Movie Tourism is now undoubtedly a big part of the movie and gaming industries, and it gives us an exciting new way to tour the places that we have enjoyed exploring on the screen.